I was recently chosen to be one of Caitlin Moran’s guest bloggers discussing a topic inspired her latest book ‘How to be a Woman’. Here is what I wrote:
I am a Feminist, it’s been my life time mantra; I am a Feminist BIG TIME, trust me!
Then I read ‘How to be a Woman’ and BAM. I’m not sure if I can state that as the fact I believed it to be.
I realised that as much as I profess to be a Feminist I must recognise that I am also a woman who, since the age of 14, has never had more than a two inch surface area of pubic hair and if there is a pole within half a mile radius, I will be most definitely getting a leg up from my boyfriend to slide down it. Most likely to some misogynistic, top 20, hip hop song.
‘How to be a Woman’ has acted as a much needed, modern day check-up for women. It asks, then answers, the daily questions we are torn by. Are we being empowered by this action or are we letting ourselves down?
So I’ve grown my pubic hair, been able to back up my dislike for strip clubs and I no longer feel the need to dutty wine to songs about ‘hoes’.
But what, pray tell, happens when you get to the end of the book and more issues arise that aren’t covered by Catlin Moran? Shall I email her directly from my iPhone at 3am when the rest of my friends are beckoning me to the pole?
After fretting about this issue for some time I realised, that the answer is hidden within the book.
If you can’t decide how you feel about something that could endanger your Feminist title then ask yourself, do men do it?
I’ve ALWAYS maintained that Feminism has nothing to do with a view on men be it loving or hating them and I still stand by that. However, I believe that this question can save us the soul searching when quick fire decision’s need to be made. Standing at the door of a strip club or standing at the bar waiting to be bought a drink ask yourself, do men do it? And if they answer is no, ask why not?
Now if it’s giving birth, using tampons or doing the splits your answer will always be, they can’t, and you can get on with your day. However, I believe this mantra can assist you in exploring these situations with the same approach as ‘How to be a Woman’ (without protesting outside Caitlin Morans house begging for ‘Volume 2’)
It certainly helped me. Looking at a particular friend, I always felt uncomfortable and unfeminine in my flat, comfy shoes or my love affair with pencil skirls over her Louboutins and glittery mini’s but then I asked myself; do men do it?
Suddenly my insecurities of not being as feminine or sexy fell away. I realised that walking like Bambi and stapling Rapunzel-esk extensions to your head, resulting in pattern baldness, was neither desirable nor empowering and I began to feel happier in my flats.
So there was my new theology in practice. Do men do it? Well unless they are having a wildly hilarious shindig amongst the gay bars of Soho then I don’t think they do. And why don’t they do it? Because they are uncomfortable, cold and don’t want to look like Barbies. Easy, decision made. Flats it is. Thanks Caitlin!